A NURSE wheeled a man crying out in pain into a store cupboard and left him there for two hours – to stop him “disturbing other patients”.
Linda Jackson was working the night shift when she moved the man, who was on morphine-based pain relief, out of his usual bay.
The patient, who had recently suffered a fall, could have been in the cupboard for even longer had another nurse not noticed his bed was “missing”.
Some time after 3.30am on October 2, 2013, Mrs Jackson, 47, decided the patient was “making noises” and keeping other patients awake.
She wheeled him into a nearby store cupboard and left him there for up to two hours with no call bell or alert system. She propped the door open with an oxygen cylinder.
Mrs Jackson, who was working at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, Fife, faced a hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) last month.
She admitted five of the ten charges against her and sixth was found proved.
Mrs Jackson admitted that during the night shift of October 1-2, 2013, she “failed to ensure that Patient A was cared for in a safe environment in that she moved him into a store cupboard”.
She then “refused to move Patient A out of the store cupboard until around 5:30am”.
She also admitted that during his time in the cupboard, she did “not ensure that Patient A had access to a call bell or alert system”.
Mrs Jackson “failed to perform an assessment of Patient A’s pain” before moving him.
Although she denied the charge, it was also found proved that she “shouted ‘shut up’ or words to that effect at Patient A” when he cried out in pain.
Patient A’s predicament was only discovered when another nurse noticed his bed was missing from the bay it had been in.
As she walked past the store cupboard, she noticed the door was “propped open with an oxygen canister” and that the patient and his bed were inside.
When asked, Mrs Jackson said she had moved the patient because he had been “making noises and disturbing other patients”.
In the documents from the hearing, it states that Mrs Jackson acknowledged her actions could have been “catastrophic” and that she made a “poor clinical judgement in putting Patient A in the store cupboard”.
It says that in hindsight, Mrs Jackson realised “the store cupboard was not an appropriate environment in which to care for a patient”.
Mrs Jackson told the panel in private session of the “very difficult personal circumstances” she was experiencing prior to and around the time of the incident.
The NMC panel ruled that a conditions of practice order lasting 12 months was the most appropriate punishment.
They said that her actions put a patient at “unwarranted risk of harm” and “brought the profession into disrepute”.